Vanessa joined the MIPlab as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in January 2018. She is also part of the Child Developmental Lab (ChilDlab) lead by Professor Petra Hüppi at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva.
Her postdoctoral research examines brain plasticity and cognitive development in children (typically developing children, children with brain malformations, children born prematurely). Her research focuses on identifying early markers for the development of future cognitive impairment and examining interventions to support optimal development.
She completed a joint PhD (2013-2017) in the area of developmental cognitive neurosciences between the University of Melbourne, Australia, and the University of Geneva under the supervison of Prof. Vicki Anderson (UoM), Dr Megan Spencer-Smith (UoM), Prof. Patrik Vuilleumier (UniGE), Prof. Pierre Barrouillet (UniGE). In the context of her PhD, she has been awarded a the Doc.CH fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation. Her thesis investigated the effect of agenesis of the corpus callosum (a common brain malformation) on cognitive and brain functions in children and adolescents. She used behavioural measures combined with structural and functional neuroimaging measures to examine brain plasticity and compensation mechanisms that occur following an early brain lesion to support positive cognitive outcomes.